The Independent Voter Project recently helped push a formal proposal to the California Secretary of State provide a third "public presidential ballot" so that independent voters (or "No Party Preference" voters in California parlance) would have an opportunity to participate in expressing their choice for presidential candidates (since the current presidential ballots are closed to party members only). Why can't we do the same here in Colorado? If the parties want to restrict the selection of their party's general election candidates expressly to their membership then they should be allowed to do that -- but not with the public's taxes paying for it. A private organization -- like a political party - has a clear constitutional right to private association (as long as they don't ask for public funds to administer that private activity). But shouldn't independent/unaffiliated voters have the same right to NOT associate and have the same ability to fully participate in the political process? A public ballot would be a strong nod in the right direction of giving independents an equally meaningful voice in the political process.
More on the public primary:
"Independent voters are the fastest growing segment of the electorate, by far. Yet, the presidential primaries, which are funded by taxpayers and administered by our public officials, only serve the Republican and Democratic Parties.
The right to vote derives from citizenship, not party membership. And states like California have promised their voters open primaries and less restrictive voting laws.
No voter should be required to join or affiliate with a political party as a condition of voting in the taxpayer-funded and state-administered election process. Period.
Now, there is a simple solution. Let the parties have their primaries. But give the voters a simple option to select a public ballot. List all the candidates on the ballot. And let any voter participate, regardless of his or her party affiliation."
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